Trail snacks

Posted by: bluefish

Trail snacks - 03/11/14 09:46 AM

My wife has to eat some food on the trail to keep her energy level up, so I searched for a very portable, easy to eat snack that would fit in a hip belt pocket. Thanks to the pro road race we have in our rural area, and a thru hiker I met on the trail, I found Honey Stinger Waffles. A thin cookie (minature hard waffle) that seems to pack a lot of energy into a small flat package. Apparently they were first popularized by European bike racers. We love them, but at 1.39 each, we would like to make our own. Anyone know a recipe? I've found they are good for eating as a snack before bed to fuel the fire for sleep in the cold. Any other compact, high energy food suggestions? Oh yeah, we can eat Cliff bars if we're going to literally die of starvation, same for any of the gels.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Trail snacks - 03/11/14 02:03 PM

Complex carbohydrates, rather than simple sugars, are the best because they are slower digesting so release the sugars in a steadier stream. For anything with high simple sugar content, you also want a high fiber content to slow the digestion of the sugar. Otherwise you get a sugar high soon followed by an insulin rush which lowers the blood sugar.

I've seen this happen; I actually made it up a 3,000 foot climb to a pass faster than a tall skinny mountaineer who was relying on candy and had to stop to eat more every 20-30 minutes. I was doing the tortoise routine (slow and steady). He would pass me at about double my speed, but when he stopped for more candy I would pass him. He had to stop again just before the top, while I was speeding up a bit because I knew we were just about there.

That yo-yo effect has been cited as a causation factor for Type 2 diabetes.
Posted by: dylansdad77

Re: Trail snacks - 03/12/14 07:14 PM

I am a firm believer in a good trail mix in a large ziplock bag. For day trips, I pack 1 large bag and 1 small snack bag -then refill the snack bag as necessary. The large bag stays in the pack and the small bag goes in a pocket for quick retrieve. My homemade GORP list includes:

CHEX Party Mix - Bold Flavor
Peanut M&Ms
Banana Chips
Pre-Shelled Sunflower Seeds
Peanuts, Cashews, Almonds and/or Walnuts (any combo)
Dried Cranberries

This has become such a popular mix amongst my outdoor compatriots, we don't bother with meals on the trail (or paddling), we just graze all day. That's my list and I'm sticking to it!
Posted by: bluefish

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 09:56 AM

OM thanks for the metabolic explanation. My wife at age 66, did 2 rugged 4k plus gains in the past year, so it's not as if we aren't on the right track.... We've been backpacking together for 25 years, and I don't ever remember a candy bar being carried with the exception of a Hershey Bar with almonds I'd eat before crawling in the bag in the winter. I was more hoping to find a recipe for those waffles. A neighbor tried to make us some, after she tried them on a long hike through the Alps. They came out like mini hockey pucks, so the search continues. Besides the de gustibus non disputandum thing, (matters of taste can't be argued) different metabolisms process things at different rates, but I heartily agree a sugar overload isn't what gets the job done.
Posted by: lori

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 11:11 AM

i'm not sure about being able to replicate something full of artificial goo. I've seen plenty of recipes for trail bar copies like Lara bars or Cliff bars, but never honey stinger anything.

good luck with that. You may be doomed to buying them by the case.
Posted by: bluefish

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 11:20 AM

Since they are an entirely organic product, and contain no chemical additives, I hardly consider them artificial goo.
I'll figure a recipe out someday, for now I'll gladly buy them.
Posted by: wandering_daisy

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 12:53 PM

Just read the label - all ingredients should be listed. If there are any ingredients, no matter how small an amount, that are not readily available in a store (I am thinking of food additives that are still "natural" but only available to commercial food processors) then I doubt you would be able to replicate the bar. Experiment with baking/cooking methods as well as proportions of ingredients. They may not even be baked - rather smashed with a big press. I would think with enough experimenting you could come up with something fairly close to the bar, if not exactly the same.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 01:59 PM

I would get a pizzelle press. Start with a pizzelle recipe and then start substituting ingredients from the honey stinger. Just keep the dough at a similar consistency.

In sweet treats I have found substituting whole wheat flour for the ap flour works well and gives the cookie/bar a nice nutty flavor. Sometime you need a little ap flour for the gluten to keep the consistency similar
Posted by: lori

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 02:04 PM

the thing is, those waffles are five different sweeteners with a bit of wheat flour. what little nutriton there is comes from the honey, fifth ingredient on the list.

trying to make Kind bars taught me that honey is a poor choice, difficult to use as a main ingredient - the consistency is gooey or like a hockey puck. so i used rice syrup and had a much better end result with fruit and nut bars.

the waffle minus the honey sounds like just another cookie. processed sugar products are hardly natural, whether or not they are organic.
Posted by: bluefish

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 02:26 PM

Wheat flour is the first ingredient, and they aren't overly sweet. Considering a lot of the riders in the Tour de France and Olympic athletes use them, I kinda doubt there as junky as you may think. All in all, I kinda regret posting this, as I'm not a fool, and wasn't trying to steer people towards some horrible food. This forum isn't for me, I don't like to argue, and will gladly concede others are far better than me, but hike no farther and enjoy themselves any more. Vaya con Dios. If that offends, I can live with it.
Posted by: lori

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 03:10 PM

I was summarizing from the honey stinger website - they are the ones claiming the honey is the main nutrition source, not me. I recognize the sweeteners on the ingredient list because they are sweeteners in many trail bar recipes I have followed. sorry if that sounded argumentative - but it is pretty clearly laid out on ingredient lists.

Organic simply means no chemicals were involved, whether hormones or pesticides. definitely if I eat sugar I would prefer organic. But it's not the same as natural. I had some energy chews that contained organic carnauba - which is wax.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 03:16 PM

I don't think any of us are trying to "argue" here. From a moderator's point of view, all the posts on this thread are quite mellow. The various posters are just presenting alternatives based on our own studies of backpacking nutrition. If you wish to reject them, fine. But this is a forum with many different people. Don't expect us all to agree with you (or anyone else); it ain't gonna happen! laugh

Posted by: jimmyb

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 03:21 PM

PM sent. Check your mail.

Posted by: lori

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 03:25 PM

I'm definitely not throwing rocks at junk food - gummy bears are my trail sin.

but organic is not the same as natural - the dichotomy is organic vs chemical/pesticide, natural/raw vs processed. bodies in cold environments or needing slow burning fuel need complex carbs and fats. Mountaineers write books and articles on this subject. Simple sugars are fine if you're getting enough of the rest.
Posted by: jimmyb

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 03:30 PM

With all due respect the Gentleman requested recipes or other snack suggestions, not a critique on his original choice. It would be a good idea to stick more to the original posters questions than to stray off. If they like the honey stingers they like the honey stingers. Big deal. lol

Posted by: aimless

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 03:47 PM

I can't answer the original question, which is really what bluefish wants. Replicating commercial products in a home kitchen is partly art and partly voodoo. All I can say is that if you are motivated enough and willing to make enough dud batches, you'll probably come up with a homemade substitute your wife likes. Or maybe not. smile

As far as metabolizing food to energy, hiking is generally far less demanding than the athletic competitions, so speaking very generally, complex carbs that enter the bloodstream more slowly seem better suited to hiking. But, if your wife thinks these snacks work for her particular body and her personal needs, then she's the expert. I'm just the stranger sitting at a keyboard far, far away.
Posted by: BZH

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 04:45 PM

bluefish, please don't get too down on the feedback you receive. Try as I may I have given up trying to control the way people respond to my questions. When I don't get the information I was looking for from a community I just remind myself that the people who responded put there own time and effort trying to help me without me giving them anything. I thank them for their response then focus on the people who gave me information that was more helpful. For instance (to toot my own horn) I thought I gave you a pretty good lead to make honey stingers on your own. Lori, who comes across as abrasive to some people, also gave you some good info. Namely, that she found rice syrup works better for these types of recipes than honey.

I have taken stroopwafels, which I think are very similar. Heck, Loganbread, which seems quite popular around here, is pretty darn close to a honey stinger and a handful of gorp.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Trail snacks - 03/13/14 05:57 PM

Thanks, BZH; you've expressed it better than I can.

Bluefish, we moderators (in addition to fighting spam) keep an eye out for discourteous posts and for anything getting really off-topic. I don't think that any of us moderators consider the responses here off-topic, especially since your subject line was "trail snacks." The original poster has no ownership over a thread, although we mods do try to keep things within bounds. Nor is the Original Poster obliged to dispute every response. I can think of a few things that could have gotten this thread way off topic, but I don't want to give anyone ideas!

The other aspect of a forum is that most of us are also addressing other readers who may happen along and not just the OP. For example, I always have in the back of my mind that beginners lurking here are liable to read my posts.